Remember how, when we were approaching the year 2000, many prognosticators said we would not make it to the 21st century?
This blog is about purpose and why we do what we do, so let’s play what if? What if we knew we only had seven years left to live. What would our purpose be then? Would it change much from what it is now?
Pretend that sometime in 2024, human life as we know it is going to end. Right now it doesn’t matter how. The next full eclipse happens to be in 2024.
Cataclysm, or a gentle lifting away of all saved, perfected or completed souls to begin again in a new place, or traditional religion’s view of the end of the world, complete with plagues and locusts—Armegeddon, Judgement Day, wars, rumors of wars, whatever. When it’s over, it’s over.
Pretend that at the end of the seven years, everyone’s eternal destiny is set. All who will learn have learned. All who will grow have grown as much as they will. All who will love, love. All who will stand with Christ stand.
For those who believe in reincarnation no more opportunities to live on earth again exist. It’s over and the next question then is what now?
Ignore for now that none of us know for certain that we have seven minutes left, much less seven years! For some, who are ill, seven years sounds like an eternity. Some would abhor, some would cherish, another seven years.
Ordinarily, seven years seems but a moment in the eternity scheme, especially if one happens to be wildly happy about some particular situation.
Also ignore for now intellectual diversion, avoidance, denial, and practical logistics, such as for starters, the likelihood that if the seven-year time limit were accepted as truth worldwide the credit system would crash and we’d be dependent on cash or barter for survival. For this game, let’s save our sanity and pretend global chaos could be avoided, all things would remain equal, the status would remain quo.
Now examine your perspective. Can you view the scene universally? Or are you still human enough to ask honestly what happens to me? What happens to my loved ones?
A mother about to give birth would pose this question differently than, say, a prisoner who thought he would be free in ten years discovering he’s in for what is left of his life.
Too, the various stages of relationships come into play—some starting, some flourishing, some ending.
Add the age factor: childhood, adolescence, teenage, young adulthood, middle age, or old age. Health, both physical and financial, plays its role.
The common denominator between us all is need.
We are born needy. How would those needs change if we knew we only had a few years to get it right?
A common cliche´ is to live each day as if it were the last. Good advice insofar as it goes. However, there’s a great big why bother embedded there. Why bother starting something new? Ending something old?
Though it is an excruciatingly simple question, perhaps a better way of identifying needs is to ask what would I do if money were no object, and for the purposes of this game I was sure I had another seven years?
Would I stay in the same job? Stay with the same person in the same location?
In other words, what about my life would I change if security weren’t a factor? What would remain exactly as it is? In those answers lies my true need.
Once identified, how do we satisfy true needs? If we could wiggle our noses like Samantha of Bewitched, which ones would come true?
What has to happen today so that when our imaginary seven years are up, we’re physically, mentally, and spiritually ready for whatever comes?
Perhaps the greatest value of this type of soul-searching is spotlighting that with which we are absolutely content. There is something exhilarating about fully embracing the people, places, and circumstances with which we are resoundingly satisfied!
Then, of course, it’s helpful to identify that deemed unsatisfactory. Earthly attachments which would be best be broken abound. Once identified, a sort of do-it- now urgency manifests.
When we develop do-it-now consciousness, if we would change jobs, relocate, travel, mend (or sever) relations, detach and detoxify from physical habits, meditate, pray, forgive self and others, be kinder and love more, and so on, we either do it, or accept that it won’t be done and swallow the consequences.
How do we win this game?
There is a way and in the coming days, I’m going to hand you the keys to the kingdom.